Light rail section still shut

November 16, 1994

Mass Transit Administration officials said yesterday that service on the Central Light Rail Line will not be restored between the Camden and Patapsco Avenue stations until Saturday at the earliest.

The 3.4-mile segment in South Baltimore has been without rail service since Monday, when a section of the overhead power line was damaged. Investigators are studying light rail's power lines and cars to determine how the 1,500-foot section was damaged.

At 4:25 p.m. Monday, the operator of a northbound train was alerted to a fault in the train's electrical system. The train and its 150 passengers were stranded just north of the Westport station for about two hours until a locomotive could be brought in to pull them to Camden station.

Trains are continuing to run south of Patapsco and north of Camden, while buses have been ferrying passengers between those stations and intermediate stops at Westport and Cherry Hill.

Officials speculated that one or more of the train's pantographs may have become twisted in the power line, pulling it down. The cost of repairs is estimated at $14,000.

"The car somehow became entangled, exactly how is what we're trying to assess," said James F. Buckley, MTA deputy administrator.

This is the second time this fall that problems with power lines have shut down light rail service for an extended period. In September, a pantograph damaged in a rainstorm ripped up 150 feet of power line at two locations near Cherry Hill and North Avenue. Full service was not restored for several days.

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